Immigration Document Request
This page will help you understand the process to request a Form I-20 or DS-2019
- In order to gain access to the OISS Portal to request an immigration document (I-20 or DS-2019), admitted international students must confirm their planned attendance at Northwestern by paying the NU tuition deposit (if required by your academic program).
- Set up your Northwestern email account and check that email regularly.
- Await email notification of access to the OISS Portal - Admitted students will be granted access to the OISS portal once the Northwestern Student Information System (CAESAR) transmits essential profile information over to the OISS. Your OISS profile includes biographic information, academic level, academic program to which you have been admitted, program dates, program costs, and other essential information. Please be patient as it generally takes at least two weeks from date of admission and receipt of tuition deposit for the systems to sync so that we may grant students access to the portal. This 2 week timeline assumes we have commenced the access cycle for your term of admission (see chart below).
Please note: We will begin granting access to the OISS Portal for eligible admitted students based on term of admission as follows:
Fall term students March 1 Winter term students July 15 Spring term students July 15 Summer term students December 15
- You will not have access to the OISS Portal until you receive the notification email. If you attempt to log in to the portal before CAESAR communicates with the OISS Portal and access is granted, you will receive an error message. : Please do not attempt to log in to the OISS Portal until after you have received the notification email.
- The link included in the notification email will take you to the OISS Portal where you will now be able to log in with your Northwestern NetID and password. After logging in you will complete the questionnaires and upload required documentation to complete your Form I-20 or DS-2019 request.
- There are two types of immigration documents you can request:
Form I-20 to apply for an F-1 student visa Form DS-2019 to apply for a J-1 student visa
- When students are added to the OISS portal, they are assigned a default visa type :
- Degree-seeking students: Any student participating in a degree-seeking program will be invited to the OISS portal as an F-1 student by default. Within the immigration document request, degree-seeking students are able to select their preferred visa type (F or J).
- Non-degree/Exchange students will gain access to portal with their visa type pre-selected as J-1, the required visa for non-degree and exchange students.
Please note:The notification email is sent to an admitted student’s Northwestern email address. Therefore, it is essential that newly admitted international students have set up their NU email address and are checking it regularly. Typically, students activate their G-suite account for email as part of the NetID activation process. NU, including OISS, will use your Northwestern email address for ALL official communications. For more information, see @u.northwestern.edu Overview on the IT website.
You will be required to provide the following documentation as part of your immigration document request:
- Passport (biographical page only)
- Northwestern admission or invitation letter
Admitted students will receive an official admission letter from the academic department or school that is either emailed or sent in the mail in hardcopy. Exchange programs typically issue an invitation letter.
- Financial documentation
- All new F-1 international students are required to show proof that funds are guaranteed for the first year of study.
- All new J-1 international students are required to show proof that funds are guaranteed for the full length of his/her program.
- More information on the types of acceptable funds and documentation
See Transfer a SEVIS Record to NU for more information.
You may bring your dependents (spouse/ children) when you arrive or later. If your dependents will be traveling with you, they will need a dependent Form I-20 or DS 2019 to apply for an F-2 or J-2 visa. You can request your dependent immigration documents at the same time as yours.
You will need to provide additional financial documentation for dependents. Additional finances are required. Please see Visas for Spouses and Children for additional information and required financial documentation.
Visa Appointment Scheduling
I-20 or DS-2019 Errors
Be sure to review Understanding your Immigration Document as it explains specific details about the I-20/ DS-2019 components.
If you find an error on your immigration document, contact the OISS immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org.
School Specific Contacts
Please allow 2 weeks after you have paid your NU admission deposit to receive the OISS email inviting you to apply for your immigration document. If you have not received the invitation email 2 weeks or more after paying your NU admission deposit, please send an email to email@example.com. Please include your full name, NetID, and term of admission.